This process of coming face-to-face with your obstacles time and time-again, is what I call Upleveling.
Every time you uplevel, you create a new normal – and you become someone with new standards.
You become someone with higher energy.
You become someone who can create more income, who has a deeper sense of his or her internal power.
That becoming – that unfolding – it’s why we’re here at all… it’s why we set goals.
When I started this path, I was a musician, a songwriter, a touring performer, and a recording artist. And that “becoming” for me was a pretty intense process, because not only was I answering to the creative demands of that business, navigating the entertainment industry… and I was building my own business.
I had stopped waiting for discovery, and I started discovering myself instead… (and this was a lot of work.)
Eventually that work paid off, and I created my own empire.
I remember one night, I was signing CDs after a show. This woman came up to me and wanted me to sign her CD. While I was doing that, her husband, who was standing right next to her, said six words to me that hooked me for a very, very long time. He said, “Man! You are LIVIN’ THE DREAM!”
So, yeah- I was living the dream… being successful at being an artist.
And for 90 minutes, night after night, every night, I made everyone believe that.
And for a while- it was true.
But that was my onstage world.
After several years of doing that, what started to emerge backstage was an entirely different story.
What started to happen was that after my shows finished, invariably, there were four or five people waiting to talk to me. And they had questions, like–
“How do I follow my dream?”
“How do I build a business that I love?”
And I’d just say to them, “Come backstage; let’s talk about it there.” And what I was doing was coaching them. I didn’t call it coaching, but that’s what I was doing.
Night after night, this started to build. It started to evolve… and I loved it.
And… I was embarrassed at how much I loved it.
I remember one night, when my backstage collided with my front stage.
It was after a show, and after my “coaching circle” had disbanded. And the sound engineer, the promoter, the club owner and two other guys from the club were walking me to my car.
We were just walking, talking music, talking art. I got about 25 feet from my SUV and I suddenly realized something disastrous–
The entire front seat was littered with personal growth audio books… and business growth audio books, and spiritual growth audio books. I think I had the entire “Sounds True” library in my front seat!
I took off running… just started sprinting, got to the car, opened the door and started shoving Cheryl Richardson under the seat, Caroline Myss into the glove compartment, Thich Naht Hanh in the back… Jack Canfield under the front seat.
I was grabbing t-shirts out of the back and covering all of the evidence because, God forbid, the “cool kids” discover that I’m into all this consciousness stuff and all this growth stuff.
That night was a really big shift for me. Because I realized that backstage had started to creep into my front stage. And this is why the very first lesson of Being the C.E.O. or Y.O.U. (from Uplevel Your Business) is that you’ve got to check back stage.
Because your backstage is where you life is always talking out loud to you.
And interestingly, after the incident that night, this phenomenon started to happen– where my wise self started to show up each night at my performances.
(One thing you’ve got to know about my wise self is that she’s not floaty, or flowy or angel-like in any way, shape or form. She is a kind of a central casting, quintessential therapist woman.)
And our conversations went something like this-
She would come wandering out, wearing her Eileen Fisher drapey scarves—she would sit down while I was performing. She would watch me. And then she’d say, “So Christine, this moment right here- how are you doing? How’re you feeling?”
“Good, I’m good. This is what I do. I’m on it,” I’d reply.
“Ok. I happen to notice- backstage, when you’re coaching people, you truly light up- your energy changes. And I’m wondering if it’s possible that you may be avoiding what could be your next calling in life.”
And it was these conversations with my wise self, night after night, that made me realize this: Your backstage never lies.
Your backstage is where you find yourself drawn to certain clients. Where you find yourself going to certain kinds of events your drawn to; it’s where you find yourself loving this new way of teaching, or this new way you’re working that – for whatever reason – your frontstage has not fully embraced yet.
But eventually, you’ll notice, as I did, that your backstage starts to speak much louder than your front stage.
Now it’s your turn…
In the comments below, share with me… Have you ever noticed your backstage speaking to you? And what’s going on backstage for you now? Anything? I’d love to hear your experience of listening to or ignoring these callings in your life.